Thursday, December 17, 2009
Henry's former QB mourns a loss
By Tim Graham
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Chris Henry caught two touchdown passes last year for the Cincinnati Bengals. Both of them were thrown by Ryan Fitzpatrick.
A few hours after Henry died Thursday morning, Fitzpatrick stood at his stall in the Buffalo Bills' locker room and tried to comprehend that his former teammate was gone.
"I'm still trying to grasp what really happened because it's such tough news and a shock to hear," Fitzpatrick said.
"It was very sad. Tragic news."
Henry died of injuries suffered Wednesday near Charlotte, N.C. He fell out of a pickup truck during what police have called a domestic dispute with his fiancée. Henry was 26.
"It definitely makes you stop and think," Fitzpatrick said. "Everybody in this locker room is affected by it, even the guys that didn't know Chris on a personal level. When the news broke, everybody was gathered around the TV, watching.
"It's always something you never want to see happen, especially somebody in the NFL brotherhood. It affects everybody more than people realize."
Henry wasn't with the team because he's on injured reserve with a broken arm.
The Bengals extended a second chance to Henry, who they released before the 2008 season after he'd been arrested a fifth time and a judge called him "a one-man crime wave."
"I think for the guys that know him, it's very different than the public perception of him," Fitzpatrick said. "The trouble that he got in the past and all that, everybody knows that he's a great guy. He really had his share of problems but really got his life on track.
"Obviously, everybody's hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his fiancée, his kids. It was really tough news."
Fitzpatrick said he will remember Henry's immense talent and recalled Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer used to call Henry "the next Randy Moss."
"The way he played on the football field, the passion that he played with, how much he loved the game and really the chance that the Bengals gave him because they knew what kind of person that he was and the talent he possessed," Fitzpatrick said.